Friday, February 29, 2008

Digital Preservation Matters - 29 February 2008

Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization: A White Paper. Oya Y. Rieger. CLIR Reports. February, 2008

This looks at four large scale digitization efforts (Google Book Search, Microsoft Live Search Books, Open Content Alliance, and the Million Book Project) to identify issues that arise from the projects. Some notes:

  • Access and preservation goals are usually interrelated in a complex connection
  • There is not yet a common understanding of what preservation responsibility is
  • Making sure content is accessible over time may be different from preserving it
  • For brittle books, the digital copy may be the only one that survives into the future
  • Open Content Alliance maintains data in multiple repositories in order to preserve the files, test the preservation action, and restore lost files.
  • “Preserving digital objects entails the preservation of digitized materials, including those resulting from the reformatting process, to ensure their longevity and usability”
  • Preservation metadata is “the information a repository uses to support the digital preservation process”
  • “Technology alone cannot solve preservation problems. Institutional policies, strategies, and funding models are also important.”
  • “The challenge is not only to incorporate the preservation mandate in organizational mission and programs but also to characterize the goals in a way that will make it possible to understand the terms and conditions of such a responsibility.”
  • “There are also significant differences between a preservation program that focuses on bitstream preservation and one that encompasses the processes required to provide enduring access to digital content.”
  • A great section to read: Key Organizational-Infrastructure Requirements for Preservation Programs
  • The organizational preservation infrastructure (mandate, governance, funding) is critical for success.
  • Expanding educational opportunities for preservation and curation staff involved is important
  • Developing a common archival strategy is a complex process. Collaboration is important.
  • We need to reassess requirements and practices and devise policies for designating digital preservation levels

Archiving agreement Portico and KB. Press Release. Koninklijke Bibliotheek News. 26 February 2008.

The Royal library and Portico have agreed that an off-line copy of the Portico archive of over 60 million files will be held for safekeeping by the library. The copy will be kept in a secure access- and climate-controlled facility. This is one component of Portico’s strategy to ensure the security of the archive. This is also one way in which organizations can cooperate to preserve digital materials.

"Preserving electronic scholarly publications is a key priority for the KB, and formalizing this arrangement with Portico is a natural extension of the KB's active archival role."

OpenSolaris Project: HoneyComb Fixed Content Storage. Web site. February 27, 2008.

Sun Microsystems has donated the source code for the Sun StorageTek 5800 System, a digital archive storage system using the Solaris Operating System and open source software. Developers can download the code that runs on any x86 system for free Sun Makes Digital Archiving Free, Open.

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